If you’ve attended any of my efficiency-focused professional sales training workshops, you know how important it is to leverage your existing customer base. This is something you should keep in mind not only when you’re looking for repeat business, but also when you’re selling to a brand new prospect. By approaching a new prospect with the “long view” in mind (see last week’s blog on “Take the Long View") and using it to guide the sales process, you’re placing the foundation for future opportunities right from the start.
According to Sunil Gupta and Donald R. Lehmann in their book, Managing Customers as Investments: The Strategic Value of Customers in the Long Run, to fully leverage your customer base, you need to understand the true value of a customer from a financial perspective. What is the “Customer’s Lifetime Value (CLV)?” How can you maximize the value of a customer through strategic planning and creative marketing initiatives? What loyalty programs can you implement to keep your customers engaged and primed for repeat sales? Answers to these questions and more can be found in this book, and I highly recommend picking up a copy for yourself. Save yourself the time and hassle of finding new prospects, and focus on the customers who already love you!
Here’s a summary from Amazon Books:
“What's a customer really worth? Can you find out, without endlessly complex modeling? And once you know, what should you do with that knowledge? Managing Your Customers as Investments has the answers. You'll learn simple ways to get reliable customer value information—in a form you can use. You'll discover how to use it to measure marketing effectiveness, generate improvements throughout the entire customer relationship lifecycle, and improve decision-making. Everyone tells you to manage your business around customers. This book gives you the tools to do it.”
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